Yes, I emptied my dishwasher this morning. Wahoo! I’m practicing my current habit and it’s helping.
Want to know something super embarrassing? It seriously only takes five minutes to empty a dishwasher in a tidy kitchen. I didn’t know that before consistently practicing this habit.
How Is That Possible?
How could I possibly not know how long it takes to empty a dishwasher? Simple. If I’m often “doing the dishes” when there two or three days worth and I unload as part of “doing the dishes”, then I never experience what it’s like to be caught up and have unloading the dishwasher be a separate task comprised of a mere day’s worth of dishes.
I assumed unloading the dishwasher took longer than it really does because the way I did it actually takes me waaaaayyyy longer.
Am I just that dumb?
Look, maybe I’m preaching to the choir here and you’re looking at your phone with pity for the poor schmuck who doesn’t know how long it takes to unload the dishwasher. If that’s you, I’m happy for you. Really. No sarcasm. I’m glad you have dishes under control at your house.
I have prioritized other areas in my life, and homemaking tasks seemed of little importance compared to the other things I was spending my energy and passion on. I didn’t know how important home is to God. I didn’t know how crucial home is to Christian living. I didn’t know how valuable a homemaker is to God, how varied that role really is, or how high and lofty the goal of becoming a woman who “looks well to the ways of her household” would turn out to be. I believed a lot of wrong things about the whole “Suzie Homemaker” thing, and in all the stereotypes, I missed the point entirely.
Starting As Simply As Possible
The immaterial aspects of homemaking come more naturally to me than the physical aspects. Managing my space is hard for me. This is why I started as simply as possible and I’m learning what makes a difference through practice and reflection.
Why make my bed? Isn’t that a waste of time?
Would a consistently clear table impact the atmosphere of my home?
How much do I have to do so I can stop feeling like I’m perpetually failing?
How can I overcome internal resistance to starting when I feel overwhelmed or only have five minutes to spare?
How can I focus on the right things as I tend my home, so I am not doing it at the expense of the people I’m called to love and serve here?
What about when I just can’t anymore?
These questions and their answers help ground me and point me in the right direction. They help me see the forest through the trees.
Are You Discouraged?
Some of you find managing your physical environment easier than the relational and spiritual aspects of being a homemaker. That’s why I talk about both. We can learn and grow in this area. And for those of you, who, like me, more often feel embarrassed and discouraged by your seeming inability to do what other people do naturally in their homes, hear this: If I can learn and improve, you can too. I’m being open about my remedial status on the whole wide internet so we can do it together. We are designed to learn the arts of home in community.
You Are Not the Wrong Kind of Woman
You don’t have to be “a natural”. I most certainly am not. Never have been. Never will be. But I’m growing, and you can practice with me.
You really can have more peace in your home and it doesn’t have to take over your life.
Practice doing your dishes at night and emptying them in the morning. Some is good. It really is. Pick practice over perfection. Take the time to pray and be grateful for your blessings. Take the time to remember your friends who need prayer. I promise you won’t wake up tomorrow and think, “You know, I really wish I hadn’t done the dishes last night. I’d be so much happier if I could just look at a sink of dirty plates, cups, and pots before I’ve even had my coffee.”
May your bibles and aprons both be well-worn,
The Remedial Homemaker